The Patriots are eyeing the return next week of defensive end Jermaine Cunningham from his PED suspension.
Asked Tuesday about the team's open roster spot and their plans to fill it, Bill Belichick mentioned Cunningham is expected back next week.
"We would anticipate Jermaine Cunningham returning to the team after this game, so were going to need a spot for that if he comes back and is activated," Belichick explained in his noon-hour conference call. "I know it hasnt happened yet, but thats on the horizon and we would need a spot for that. One thing weve talked about is just leaving that spot open in anticipation of that happening rather than fill it and have to reopen it, that type of thing. Well look at our options and try to do what we think is best for everybody involved here."
The Patriots aren't closing the door on adding a 53rd player to the roster, according to Belichick.
"Thats something that Ill talk to player personnel chief Nick Caserio about today," said Belichick. "Weve had a couple preliminary thoughts on it but nothing definitive. Were both doing a little research and thinking and trying to see where some of our players are relative to their availability this week. Well have that conversation probably later on this afternoon and meet with the coaching staff on it and figure out where we are. But as you know, we have to inactive seven players anyway, so signing a player at that position to then have to inactivate him, the gain on that is marginal."